The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

  • Historical Fiction
  • Fantasy/Magical realism
  • Hardcover
  • 560 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.24

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have been putting off reviewing this beautiful piece of art, because I just knew I would never be able to write a review that would do this book justice. I read this book almost 9 months ago and I haven’t found any book that surpasses it yet, nor do I think I ever will. I would probably sell my soul to be able to read it for the first time again (though not to the Gods that answer after dark). But alright, here we go.

“Never pray to the Gods that answer after dark.”

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

In the year 1714, a young woman named Adeline LaRue makes a bargain with the devil to be free. From that moment on, though, she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, as soon as she is out of sight. For 300 years, she walks the earth without being able to leave a single trace, until she walks into a second hand bookshop in New York to exchange the book she just stole from there the day before.

“If you only walk in other people’s steps, you cannot make your own way. You cannot leave a mark.”

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

I have to be honest, I cried throughout most of the book. Every time Addie is forgotten by.someone she has grown to care about, every time she tries to leave a mark on the world that fades away after just a few seconds, every time the devil tells her to give up on life, because nobody will every remember who she is.

This was actually the very first book I read because of Bookstagram. I came across a reel of a girl describing the plot of the book and saying it was the best book she had ever read. She was so passionate about it that I decided to read it too. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

It’s a slow-paced story, but it captivated me from the very beginning. The story starts in 1714 with Addie running for her life. From then on it alternates between the past, starting in 1714 and working your way up throughout Addie’s 300 year long life while Addie figures out how her new life works, and the present, where she goes through life stealthy, knowing the exact moment she’ll be forgotten.

I’ve literally never read anything like this, but if I had to compare it to something, it would be the movie The Age of Adaline (the name is probably a coincidence). This is a movie featuring Blake Lively, about a young woman born in 1908, who gets hit by lightning at age 29 and from then on never ages a day again.

Shortly before publishing this book, Victoria Schwab posted on Goodreads the following words: “I can’t believe we made it. Addie spent so many years haunting me, I hope she haunts a few of you.

Oh Victoria, you have no idea.

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From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar – coming out on December 21st

From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar – coming out on December 21st

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Romantic thriller
  • Suspense
  • Ebook
  • 334 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.32

First of all, a great thanks to the author Jina S. Bazzar for gifting me a copy of her upcoming book From Fame to Ruin in exchange for an honest review.

From Fame to Ruin book cover, a romantic thriller novel that will be released on the 21st of December.
From Fame to Ruin cover, copied from goodreads.com

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world. When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground. When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life. Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past. They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This book really took me by surprise. This was the first time I was contacted by an author to review their book and I was really flattered, but it also added a lot of pressure. What if I didn’t like it? I would have to give it a bad review and I really did not want to do that. I decided to take the leap and thank God, it paid off.

I didn’t know what to expect from a “Romantic thriller”, but now that I’ve read this book, I think it’s the most amazing combination of genres. Call me a girl, but I think the romance part of a book always just adds an extra dimension. In this book especially. The book constantly alternates between 4 years ago and today. The thriller part is happening in the today and the romantic parts of the story are (mostly) happening 4 years ago. This is the perfect recipe for a book that never gets boring. Usually the “4 years ago” is the boring backstory of how things came to be. That’s the part you have to plow through, because the information is essential, but you mostly just want to get back to the good parts. Now add a little (or a lot) romance and suddenly the backstory isn’t so boring anymore.

The choice of using a dual timeline was a really good one. The “4 years ago” chapters give your heart rate a little time to slow down again. I would be reading a chapter that happens in the “today” and then moving on to a chapter that happens 4 years ago and I would suddenly notice that I was clenching every muscle in my body. The best books are the books that give you high blood pressure, in my humble opinion.

From Fame to Ruin comes out on the 21st of December. I put the Amazon link below, so check it out if you’re interested!

https://www.amazon.com/Fame-Ruin-Romantic-Thriller-Novel-ebook/dp/B09HSGMFYC/ref=sr_1_1?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&keywords=From+Fame+to+Ruin&qid=1639741832&s=books&sr=1-1

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My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  • Fiction
  • Thriller/mystery
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 226 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.72

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don’t want to leave any evidence of foul play.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

Korede’s sister Ayoola is the favourite child, the most beautiful of the two and possibly a little sociopathic. Two of Ayoola’s boyfriends have mysteriously died before and now her third boyfriend is dead. Self-defence, apparently. It is also the third mess that Ayoola has left for Korede to clean up. Korede takes the burden of cleaning up the blood, getting rid of the body and stopping Ayoola from posting Instagram pictures while she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. After all, to Korede family always comes first. Until Ayoola starts dating the handsome doctor that Korede has been in love with for years. Korede is faced with the question how far she would go to protect her sister.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It had been on my shelf for years before I decided to pick it up, mostly because I thought it was a completely different kind of book. I finally picked it up after I coincidentally came across a review of the book somewhere and I realised it wasn’t at all the kind of book I thought it was. Why did I buy a book without reading the summary and then put it on my shelf for two years because I didn’t like the kind of book I thought it was, you ask? Well, I never said I was perfect.

“I dare you to find a flaw in her beauty; or to bring forth a woman who can stand beside her without wilting.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

I adored the characters in this book. They were hilarious and vibrant and there really wasn’t a dull moment. The book is written from Korede’s point of view, so you don’t really know what is going on in Ayoola’s head, but not knowing what she is thinking is a large part of the fun, otherwise it wouldn’t be a mystery. It was kind of a cliché that Korede is the “ugly duckling” and her sister is the beautiful, but naive one and that kind of bothered me a few times throughout the book, but I guess it also adds an extra dimension and I can’t really think of a different relationship that would add the same dimension to their interactions. So I guess I forgive her for the cliché.

The book was very accessible. The chapters were short and sweet, it wasn’t too difficult to read, the writing is smooth and witty and I went through it quickly, which made it very enjoyable. I hate mystery novels or thrillers where you have to wait endlessly for a clue or for someone to solve the mystery while the narrator takes it upon themselves to describe where a character got their completely unrelated and irrelevant dog Fluffy or the EXACT colour of the leaves on an even more irrelevant tree (I’m looking at you, George R.R. Martin). This is definitely not that kind of book. My Sister, the Serial Killer is fast-paced while always making you want to keep reading and if you love reading a book in one session, you’ll adore this book.

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Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

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  • Fiction
  • Contemporary romance
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.84

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Life is like an escalator. You see, it carries you on regardless. And you might as well enjoy the view and seize every opportunity while you’re passing. Otherwise, it’ll be too late.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

While Lara Lington is attending her great-aunt Sadie’s funeral, she is visited by Sadie’s ghost in the form a demanding girl in a 1920’s flapper dress. Sadie demands that Lara finds a necklace that had been in Sadies possession for seventy-five years, but was lost when she died. Lara refuses at first, being busy enough with her own troubles, having just been dumped by the love of her life and trying to keep her head above water as co-owner of her headhunting agency. Sadie keeps pestering Lara until she finally agrees on finding the necklace, uncovering some ugly secrets in the process.

This is the second Sophie Kinsella book I read. It’s also still one of my favourites (if not, THE favourite). The first Kinsella book I read is “Finding Audrey”, which is absolutely beautiful, but meant for a younger audience. I’ll write a review on that one soon.

Even though this book is 500 pages long, I literally devoured it. I love Kinsella, because her books are always light and easy to read. They really pull you into the story. She has a talent for making you feel like you’re really there. She doesn’t dwell on irrelevant things like the exact colour of a tree (which can absolutely be beautiful and relevant in a different kind of novel, obviously).

I loved the friendship between Sadie and Lara that evolved throughout the book. Lara started off being really annoyed by Sadie and naturally, I was really annoyed by Sadie as well, but Kinsella did an excellent job peeling off the layers of Sadie’s personality. Every time you learn something new, you start loving her a little more. The dynamic between Sadie and Lara is amazing. It’s enemies to friends, but Sadie also takes a role as a mentor. Being 105 years-old, she has a lot to teach Lara, though some of it is a little outdated…

“If a love affair is one-sided, then it’s only ever a question, never an answer. You can’t live your life waiting for an answer.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

There’s one theme that keeps coming back throughout the novel and that’s unanswered love. It wasn’t that obvious to me while I was reading the book and I really don’t remember it being featured so prominently. I only just noticed while looking up the quotes for this review. Nearly all of the quotes on Goodreads are about unanswered love. It’s Sadie telling Lara to stop waiting for her ex to start loving her back, that it’s not possible to make someone love you. She tells her to stop trailing after her ex. I didn’t mind the theme so much in this novel, but Kinsella does have a habit of making some of her main characters annoyingly dependent on men.

“Honestly, it’s so easy to get what you want from people if they think you’re a psycho.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

If you’ve never read anything by Sophie Kinsella before, consider this a sign to pick up Twenties Girl at your nearest bookstore and dive in. If you’re not really a fan of the paranormal element in this novel, I would recommend starting with “My Not so Perfect Life”. I’ll do a review on that gem soon.

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